by Tim Howard
This coming week is very significant for the whole world and Christians in particular. Church families everywhere will remember the crucifixion of Christ and on Sunday, April 5 they will celebrate His resurrection. All the activities will seek to recall the event that happened approximately two thousand years ago. Some may describe the crucifixion of Christ as the best of times and the worst of times while others may say it was the turning point in human history. One thing is certain, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has caused centuries of controversy and a multitude of change.
The Life of Christ was full of teachings, miracles, words of encouragement and personal ministry, but His death was the ultimate statement of God’s love. The Bible tells us in John 3:16 that God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son to die on a cross for our sins. Anyone who believes in Him will not only experience forgiveness from his or her sin but will receive an eternal inheritance as well. God is not a respecter of persons and does not show favoritism. He loves all mankind and has a desire to relate to each and every individual. No one is exempt from His touch unless they reject Him.
Jesus didn’t enjoy death and dying is not something people enjoy thinking or talking about. When death comes knocking on a person’s door they are more apt to resist it with tremendous vigor than openly embrace it with a willing acceptance. Even the Apostle Peter vehemently refused to accept the pending death of Christ when in Caesarea Philippi. Jesus told His disciples that He would soon be crucified but Peter actually took Jesus aside and rebuked Him. He emphatically declared: “this will NEVER happen to you!”
From the response of Jesus to Peter’s reaction we discover that Peter didn’t fully understand the significance of Christ’s death and only viewed things from a human point of view rather than God’s view. Peter focused on the pain, sorrow, hurt, misery and injustice, but when you see Christ’s death from God’s vantage point it takes on a totally different look.
God sees His Son’s death and resurrection as the beginning of something new and not the end of something old. It marks the end of religious duty and opens the door for authentic relationship with God. His death was not optional but mandatory. Death doesn’t have to be the last step on earth but can be the first step into eternity with God if you put your faith in His Son. There is a future hope beyond this earthly life and the resurrection of Jesus is God’s gracious evidence to all of us. It assures us that God turned the sting of death around and what once produced fear is now conquered by faith.
As you celebrate the Easter season, God wants to give you His perspective and help you see from His vantage point. Those who are receptive will see more than a man dying on a cross and a story about His resurrection.